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MBB Game 19: FSU at Miami, Wednesday at 730pm EST

The Noles fell to 2-2 and 15-4 overall as the Hurricanes bested Florida State in Miami, 75-69.

Miami shot very well as we expected they would. Neither team turned the ball over very much. I expected FSU to have a few more steals, but this is a wash. FSU was excellent on the offensive glass and turned in an average performance on the defensive glass (an improvement over the past few games). The perhaps unexpected difference in this game was Miami's huge advantage in points via the charity stripe. FSU typically avoids fouling but committed some uncharecteristically dumb fouls tonight. In a game where the Noles needed to play very good, they were simply good. Good doesn't win road games against sure tournament teams in the ACC. The next game is at Virginia, on Saturday.

Noles: 2 ACC:1

The Noles came away with a huge win Saturday afternoon against a potent Maryland team. Despite relinquishing a big lead and going into overtime, the young Noles got the job done. As frustrating as this game was, this was a huge confidence builder for our team. Getting a young team to finish out an overtime game is an major challenge. Now we know, this team can get it done in pressure situations in close games.

Tonight, the Noles take to the road for the first of two games away from the Tucker Center to take on the Miami Hurricanes. If you thought the Maryland win meant a lot, this one has even more riding on it.

Take a look inside for a couple more thoughts on the Maryland win and tonight's game preview.

After battling through the first half for a 29-27 lead, the Noles decided to take over the game 3 minutes into the second. However, Maryland would not allow us to get away with one. Despite building an 11 point lead in the second half, the Noles allowed Maryland to charge back late in the second by dominating on the offensive boards and generating easy baskets off tips-ins.

Hamilton summarized the game very well when he said. ""This is life in the ACC. This is very important and a very big victory for us as we go on the road for our next two games."

Unfortunately, I did not get to see the game. So I will keep the discussion short and point out a couple of important stats. We did a number of things well in this game that helped us get the victory. We had one of our better shooting nights with a 47.5% eFG% and we had one of our better turnover rates, 19.1%. What is even more promising is that our TO% is declining as the year goes on.

FSU Turnover Pct (Games)

However, despite having an unbelievable size advantage, we saw a decrease in our defensive rebounding percentage. This is what allowed Maryland to get back into the game...taking advantage of loose balls around the rim and getting easy tip ins.

FSU Turnover Pct (Games)

Maryland was a great win. But, we can't get caught up looking ot the past and being proud of our accomplishments. Tonight we head into Miami in what should be an outstanding match up.

So what's the scoop on Miami....

Date Opponent Result Location Record Conf
Sat Nov 15 (NR) Florida Southern W, 96-60 79 Home 1-0
Fri Nov 21 (78) Southern Mississippi W, 70-60 65 Neutral 2-0
Sun Nov 23 (8) Connecticut L, 76-63 70 Neutral 2-1
Mon Nov 24 (131) San Diego W, 80-45 64 Neutral 3-1
Sat Nov 29 (220) Stetson W, 79-65 70 Home 4-1
Tue Dec 2 (40) Ohio St. L, 73-68 70 Home 4-2
Sat Dec 6 (19) Kentucky W, 73-67 72 Away 5-2
Fri Dec 12 (254) Florida International W, 76-50 64 Home 6-2
Sun Dec 14 (152) Robert Morris W, 70-62 68 Home 7-2
Sun Dec 21 (22) Clemson L, 91-72 72 Home 7-3 0-1
Sat Dec 27 (123) St. John's W, 70-56 68 Away 8-3
Wed Dec 31 (343) North Florida W, 94-41 65 Home 9-3
Sat Jan 3 (342) North Carolina Central W, 76-42 63 Home 10-3
Mon Jan 5 (239) Florida Atlantic W, 85-69 64 Home 11-3
Sat Jan 10 (82) Boston College W, 77-71 66 Away 12-3 1-1
Wed Jan 14 (52) Maryland W, 62-60 58 Home 13-3 2-1
Sat Jan 17 (3) North Carolina L, 82-65 73 Away 13-4 2-2

Miami has played an incredibly difficult OOC schedule and has already beaten the likes of Maryland and Boston College. They are 13-4 overall and 2-2 in ACC play, losing to Clemson and UNC. Their 2 ACC wins have been by a total of 8 points and their 2 ACC losses have been by a total of 36 points. They have had significant wins at Kentucky, at St. Johns, at BC and at home against Maryland.

So why has Miami gained so much attention? Last year they went 23-11 overall, finishing 8-8 in the ACC, losing to Texas in the second round of the NCAA tournament. This year they return 79% of possible returning minutes. In the preseason, they were predicted to go 10-6 in ACC play, that has dropped to 9-7. Miami returns 4 starters this year and have seen the addition of some outstanding Freshman, DeQuan Jones in particular.

Category Offense Defense D-I Avg
Adj. Efficiency: 113.2 [26] 92.5 [49] 100.3
Adj. Tempo: 66.1 [211] 67.3
Four Factors
Effective FG%: 48.8 [162] 43.6 [24] 48.8
Turnover %: 19.2 [84] 18.4 [293] 20.9
Off. Reb. %: 42.3 [7] 30.8 [91] 33.3
FTA/FGA: 44.9 [26] 28.4 [34] 36.3
Miscellaneous Components
3P%: 36.6 [74] 29.5 [16] 34.0
2P%: 45.7 [244] 43.3 [40] 47.7
FT%: 67.2 [214] 71.2 [268] 68.6
Block%: 11.9 [310] 11.8 [59] 9.0
Steal%: 9.4 [135] 8.8 [250] 10.0
Style Components
3PA/FGA: 33.4 [151] 36.1 [273] 33.1
A/FGM: 50.5 [253] 57.5 [256] 54.4
Point Distribution (% of total points)
3-Pointers: 28.7 [140] 29.7 [98] 27.6
2-Pointers: 47.6 [283] 51.5 [195] 52.1
Free Throws: 23.6 [45] 18.8 [238] 20.3

What does Maimi do well...they drain the 3 ball, shooting 36.6% from 3-point land as a team, and this is what likely contributes to their high efficiency in light of a low offensive pace. Miami is scoring 1.1 points per possession and only allowing 0.9 points per possession. They do not shoot well from the free throw line nor do they shot the short jump shot well. Look at that block percentage...they like to attack the rim early and often to set up the three. Drawing the defense in to allow their shooters to get good looks from the outside.

Take a look at how Miami has done through the season in Pomeroy's 4-Factors:

MIAMI Effective FG Pct (Games) vs MIAMI FT Rate Pct (Games) vs MIAMI Turnover P

In general, they have maintained a relatively high eFG% and FT-rate and a low turnover percentage. They also kill you on the offensive boards, and I think this is where we could get into trouble.

Look a how we have done with the four factors throughout the season:

FSU Effective FG Pct (Games) vs FSU FT Rate Pct (Games) vs FSU Turnover Pct (Ga

In general, one of the major differences in the graphs is the overall pattern. Notice that we have a lot of ups and downs, suggestive that we lack consistency. Whereas, the Miami graph is relatively flat,with the occasional blip up or down. They are an experienced team who comes to play every night. We are still a very young team who is currently beating teams with athleticisim. But, we have seen some improvement in the last few weeks.

Let's look at the match ups:

Point Guard:

Jack McClinton 6'1 185 Sr 17.2 ppg 2.9 apg 0.8 apg 1.5 spg 1.1 AT ration

Toney Douglas 6'2 205 Sr 18.9 ppg 2.6 apg 2.1 apg 3.4 spg 0.9 AT ration

This is going to be one hell of a match up. Elite senior guard vs. Elite Senior guard. McClinton is their top offensive player and is one of the top offensive players in the country, with a 122.1 ORtg. He has their highest percentage of possessions and take their highest possession of shots. He also shoots extremely well, hitting a 58.4% eFG%. Given the choice, he will shoot the three and generally makes them, shooting over 40% from behind the 3 point line. He can turn the ball over, losing the ball on about 19% of possessions. This will be a fun match up to watch. If we can hold McClinton to one of his poorer offensive performances, we have a good chance at winning this game. That is a huge if.

Shooting Guard:

Lance Hurdle 6'2 181 Sr. 7.1 ppg 1.5 rpg 2.6 apg 0.6 spg

Jordan Demercy 6'7 208 So 4.0 ppg 3.6 rpg 2.3 apg 1.1 spg

Like previous games, we may not see a lot of this match up. I do think that Douglas is going to be match up on McClinton. We will likely see more of Kitchen here or Dulkys who has been playing lights out defense recently and coming around on the offensive end. Hurlde is more of a "role player," having an ORtg of 101.4 and only getting the ball on a possible 18% of possessions. He is shooting a stellar 30-odd percent from the floor. He is also likely seeing more minutes as Eddie Rios, a 6'0 So guard, has been suspended indeffinitely. Look for this to be a regular rotation spot on both teams.

Small Forward

DeQuan Jones 6'6 190 Fr 3.9 ppg 2.4 rpg 0.4 spg 0.6 bpg

Chris Singleton 6'9 200 Fr 9.2 ppg 6.1 rpg 1.7 spg 1.3 bpg

Don't be fooled by the numbers. DeQuan Jones is an outstanding small forward and has seen limited playing time in the early season. Clearly, Singleton has the size advantage and really has the experience factor as well, playing a significant number of minutes in the early season. This could be a good matchup but look for Singleton to take this one.

Power Forward

Dwayne Collins 6'8 238 Jr 11.8 ppg 7.6 rpg 1.1 spg 0.4 bpg

Ryan Reid 6'8 237 Jr 6.8 ppg 4.0 rpg 0.8 spg 0.8 bpg

After Jack McClinton, Collins is moto on both ends of the floor, with an ORtg of 118.4. He is shooting an outstanding 61.2% eFG% and is taking 62% of his teams total shots while he is on the floor. A majority of his points are generated by cleaning up garbage around the rim, he is extremely effective on the offensive and defensive glass. Where he gets you...he is the number 1 player in the country at getting to the line, drawing 7.8 fouls per 40 minutes played. Unfortunately, for him, he only hits about 60% of his shots from the line. Still, he gets your big men into fould trouble. Echefu and Reid are good for a little over 4 fouls each for every 40 minutes played. We have to protect our big men and not get into foul trouble. Going to a zone might help.


Cyrus McGowan 6'9 235 Jr. 6.9 ppg 6.1 rpg 0.8 bpg

Solomon Alavi 7'1 241 Fr 7.1 ppg 5.4 rpg 2.1 bpg

Cyrus is to Miami as Solomon is to FSU. McGowan is probably their most effective rebounder, particularly on the offensive glass, grabbing about 16% of his teams possible rebounds. Like Collins, McGowan can get you into foul trouble, averaging 5.0 fouls drawn per 40 minutes. However, he only plays about 20 minutes per game and only gets the ball on about 1 out of every 5 it isn't something to get so worried about, but just to keep it in the back of your mind. Again, Alabi has a major height advantage here and should (key word should) have a good game. Let's see if we can get the Alabi-oop going in this game.

These may not be the initial line ups we see (at the time this was published the Noles website has Brian Asbury starting, not DeQuan Jones. Jones has started the last couple of games), nor will they be the consistent match ups. Miami likes to go small and run a three guard line up. Maryland did a similar thing, espescially given the fact they had no inside presence. Miami at least has McGowan and Collins. Miami has a few things that could certainly hurt us, the primary one being experience. They average 2.16 years of college ball, and that ranks 32nd in the country. They are used to playing in tight games. They are also a relatively tall team, averaging 77.1" in average-minutes weighted height. We've seen teams like this before, so what's the big deal TC you ask? They shoot the three very well. We don't defend the three as well as our 2-pointers. We clog the middle and likely is the reason of the discrepancy. Granted our 3 point FG defense is better than the national average. It's just an area a team can exploit us if they get us to collapse the middle, leaving shooters open. This is particularly true against a trigger happy Miami team who will wear you down until they get an open look. Then they have a couple of guys willing to hustle to get offensive rebounds, This is an effective combination.

They also get to the line often. Currently, they are attempting about 33% of their shots from three, a little above average but they are hitting on 36.6%, which is 2% points above national average. It doesn't seem like much but a three here or there difference could mean the difference of a couple of wins this year. They also get to the line a lot, averaging almost 1 free throw for every two shots they take. They are also scoring a high number of points at the line, despite a terrible team shooting percentage (67.2%) If they are getting to the line a lot, that means your guys are sitting on the bench in foul trouble. Essentially they take you out of your game and rhythm by forcing your guys to the bench. Plus, they have a relatively low turnover percentage.

For completeness sake here are our numbers:

Category Offense Defense D-I Avg
Adj. Efficiency: 100.8 [169] 88.1 [17] 100.4
Adj. Tempo: 68.4 [124] 67.2
Four Factors
Effective FG%: 48.1 [194] 43.3 [18] 48.8
Turnover %: 23.3 [284] 23.1 [58] 20.9
Off. Reb. %: 36.5 [69] 34.6 [231] 33.3
FTA/FGA: 44.4 [30] 34.2 [132] 36.3
Miscellaneous Components
3P%: 32.2 [230] 32.2 [92] 34.0
2P%: 48.0 [169] 40.6 [12] 47.7
FT%: 70.8 [99] 64.1 [31] 68.6
Block%: 6.8 [52] 17.5 [8] 9.0
Steal%: 10.1 [186] 13.2 [18] 10.0
Style Components
3PA/FGA: 32.1 [184] 35.8 [267] 33.1
A/FGM: 52.0 [222] 45.2 [15] 54.4
Point Distribution (% of total points)
3-Pointers: 24.4 [247] 31.8 [49] 27.6
2-Pointers: 51.0 [208] 48.0 [298] 52.1
Free Throws: 24.6 [20] 20.2 [177] 20.3

Our numbers have improved significantly on both sides of the court. The sore thumb is still the turnover percentage and the Defensive OReb%. Miami doesn't generate turnovers but they do well on the offensive boards. This could be a big problem for us. Our big guys must have a huge game.

Pomeroy has us losing a close game on the road. I think with the confidence we have built against NC St and Maryland, we can go out and surprise Miami on the road. This would be a huge win. If we lose, it isn't the end of the world, we would still be on our .500 pace. Unfortunately, the end of the ACC schedule is brutal for us, and we must therefore get ahead now.

The game will be televised on ACC Select. Here is a list of radio affiliates, check out their respective websites for possible links. I generally find the game on here or here.


Go Noles!